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Tag: Ray Sefo

[VIDEO] Spong, Newell Victorious at World Series of Fighting 4


(Tyrone Spong vs Angel DeAnda.)

It may not have been the barnburner that we hoped it would be, but Tyrone Spong improved his MMA record to 2-0 in the main event of last night’s WSoF 4 by earning a unanimous decision over Angel DeAnda.

Spong fought smart, utilizing leg kicks throughout the fight while avoiding DeAnda’s heavy hands for most of the fight. To DeAnda’s credit, he was never dropped by Spong, but he also never mounted any significant offense. At least I don’t think he did; one of the judges scored this fight 29-28.

Okay, so it wasn’t exactly the most exciting fight in recent memory. Fortunately, the rest of the WSoF 4 main card made up for the disappointment that was the main event. After the jump, there’s also videos of a knockout and submission for your viewing pleasure.

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[EXCLUSIVE] Ray Sefo – Once a Fighter Always a Fighter


(Photo via RaySefo.com)

By Elias Cepeda

I’ve been speaking with Ray Sefo for a few minutes now and it doesn’t seem like he understands my question. I asked the multiple time Muay Thai world champion and successful kickboxing and MMA coach why he ever felt the need to step out of his comfort zone and fight under MMA rules.

The former K-1 star, now in his early forties, has fought three times in MMA and will once more tonight on the World Series of Fighting 4 card in California. The striking legend is also the President of WSOF.

I asked Sefo the question and he began to tell me of how he was introduced to Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and MMA by his friend Royce Gracie, the first ever UFC champion, back in 2000 in Japan where they were both competing at the time. He then went on to describe his next step into MMA, then his next, but I felt I had to politely interrupt and reiterate my initial question. I wasn’t asking for a step by step process of how he got into MMA but why he ever decided to.

He had made a name and good living from kickboxing. He transitioned into a full-time career coaching other elite fighters and now Sefo is a top executive at a major MMA organization.

He understands me quite well. Turns out that I was the one that didn’t understand Ray Sefo. “Listen, I’ve always fought,” he explains patiently.

“I’ve been boxing since I was a kid. I did Kung Fu for years. Back home when I started kickboxing my family all thought it wasn’t that big of a deal, they were suspicious of it because boxing was so big. But then they saw me fight and their minds changed. I love to learn and love to develop and challenge myself as a martial artist and fighter. MMA was the next natural step in that.”

I had been confused. To Ray Sefo, fighting isn’t a means of procuring and then protecting status at all costs. He wasn’t afraid of stepping out of his strength and comfort zone and fighting MMA. He isn’t afraid to continue to fight MMA now, in his forties and against younger opponents and risk losing.

For Ray Sefo, fighting is breathing.

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Conflict of Interest Alert: Ray Sefo to Fight, Yes, Fight at WSOF 4 in August

By all accounts, former K1 star and current World Series of Fighting President Ray Sefo is an incredibly likable, humble, and charismatic guy — a guy who understands and tends to the needs of fighters competing in his promotion because he once was (and still is to some degree) a fighter himself. His nuanced attitude towards fighters and the sport in general has undoubtedly been one of the driving forces behind WSOF’s success, however, when he announced that he would be competing on his own promotion’s fourth card in August, it made anything but good business sense.

Yes, Sefo told The MMA Hour just moments ago that he would be setting aside his presidential duties for fifteen minutes on August 10th. If Luke Thomas’ theory holds any water, Sefo will likely compete against either Dave Huckaba or Rolles Gracie, who were scheduled to meet at the upcoming WSOF 3 before Gracie went down with an injury.

From almost every conceivable angle, this seems like a terrible idea. Setting aside the obvious conflict of interest that comes into play here, it’s just a plain bad idea from the standpoint of Ray Sefo, the fighter, who was tapped out in just over a minute by Valentijn “You hit, I fall” Overeem in his last MMA contest at Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Silva. As any magic 8-ball will tell you, challenging a Gracie after being submitted by an Overeem results in an “outlook not so good.”

Sure, Affliction VP Tom Attencio pulled a similar switcheroo back in 2009, but his fight took place under an entirely different promotion. Can you imagine what either Huckaba or Gracie (if they are in fact deemed Sefo’s next opponent) will be thinking heading into a fight with the man who signs their paychecks? If they straight up embarrass the guy, it could possibly be reflected in their future with the promotion, whether transparently or not. And if they treat the fight like Pat Barry treated his fight with Mirko Cro Cop, the results will be skewed and pretty much render the whole fight pointless to begin with.

Sure, everyone probably wants to take a swing at their boss from time to time, but turning that fantasy into a reality is…shit, I just gave Mayhem Miller his next reality show hosting gig. I’ll see myself out…

-J. Jones

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World Series of Fighting 1: Impressions from the First Event

By CagePotato contributer Andreas Hale

The World Series of Fighting held their first event at the Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas, NV. Although the main card appeared to be stuffed with squash matches, it was a pretty good night of fights and I was there to get a good gauge on the atmosphere and if WSoF could become a player in the MMA world that Dana White rules with an iron fist.

First things first, it wasn’t the sellout they promised as word is that they only sold 1500 tickets and comped double that to ensure a nice fight atmosphere. Nevertheless, it was a good evening of fights that the crowd was receptive to. Oh yeah, ring girls. Lots of ring girls. They were like a platoon that switched in and out. I didn’t know ring girls needed breaks but whatever. It’s enough variety to keep fans engaged between rounds. I mean, Brittany Palmer and Arianny Celeste are great but six beats two every single gotdamn time. Right? But I digress…

Media sat on a stage that put us eye level with the cage and we could damn near touch it (or slap a cameraman) if we tried hard enough. We could actually feel some of the punches landed. Pretty good stuff. Oh yeah, and there were fights.

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Five Reasons to Watch ‘World Series of Fighting 1′ This Saturday

In case you haven’t noticed, we’ve been all about the inaugural World Series of Fighting event around here lately. We’ve snagged interviews with former UFC welterweight Josh Burkman, who is taking on fellow UFC vet Gerald Harris on the undercard, and world renowned badass/WSOF President Ray Sefo. In the meantime, we’ve been doing our best to undermine the legitimacy of the UFC, in turn allowing the WSOF to rise to MMA supremacy and grant us exclusive press passes for all future events.

And regardless of whether or not our preposterous pipe dream ever becomes a reality, we will be tuning in on Saturday to catch all the action. Sherdog will be hosting a live stream of the undercard starting at 8 pm. EST and the NBC Sports Network will be picking up the main card at 10 p.m. EST, so none of you should really have any excuse to miss this. On the off chance you still do, however, here are five of our attempts to convince you otherwise.

1. Shit is Stacked

At first glance, the above event poster looks like some kind of sick joke. You’ve got three UFC veterans — two of which are former UFC/WEC champions — in Andrei Arlovski, Miguel Torres, and Anthony Johnson, taking on three completely unknowns in Cole, Moraes, and Linderman. On the other hand, squash matches are the new black, so if it’s good enough for the UFC, why not WSOF?

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Exclusive: ‘World Series of Fighting’ President Ray Sefo Prepares for His New Battle Outside of the Ring


(Photo via Sherdog.)

By Andreas Hale

It only made sense for Ray Sefo to start his own MMA promotion. Well, it only made sense once the stars aligned in a unique way that told him he’d better start an MMA promotion or else. You see, back when K-1 was falling apart, Sefo happened to do an interview where he discussed how much money the promotion owed him and the possibility of starting his own company. The thought ran through his mind heavy after the call. After all, he has put on a successful K-1 event in New Zealand, and he had a pretty good idea how to handle the business. So he decided to sleep on it.

The next morning, a wealthy friend of his named Sig Rogich gave him a call out of the blue and invited Sefo to breakfast so they could discuss something. Mind you, Rogich had never heard the interview from the night before.

“(Sig) said ‘What do you think about starting an MMA fighting league?’” Sefo says when reflecting on the origins of World Series of Fighting. “I looked at him and said ‘Are you kidding me? That’s exactly what I was going to talk to you about on Monday!’ It was just meant to be. The stars aligned for us and this was meant to happen.”

Plans were laid out, business was taken care of, and fighters were signed. November 3rd marks the inaugural fight night, which will emanate from the Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas, and air on NBC Sports (formally Versus). It’s not your average rinky-dink startup operation, as WSoF 1 features a loaded card that includes the likes of Andrei Arlovski, Anthony Johnson, and Miguel Torres on the main card. While newer promotions may struggle to land talent, WSoF has had many of its fighters fall right into their lap. In particular, guys like Johnson and Torres had been cut by the UFC this year for weight issues but are still marquee names in the sport. Inking with WSoF made perfect sense for them, partly because of Sefo’s own background

“Many of them were up for it right away because of my involvement and with the understanding that I am a fighter becoming a promoter,” Sefo explains. “I understand what a fighter goes through to prepare for a fight. That appealed to a lot of the guys.”

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[VIDEO] Cro Cop Defeats Ray Sefo in K-1 Bout at Final Fight


Never forget.

It’s not like Cro Cop has never pondered retirement before, but if last night’s K-1 bout against fellow kickboxing legend Ray Sefo truly marked the end of the road for Mirko Filipovic, then Cro Cop is going out on the highest note possible.

Last night at the Arena Zagreb in Zagreb, Croatia, Mirko Filipovic defeated Ray Sefo by unanimous decision in the main event of “Final Fight”. While both men fatigued in the latter rounds, Cro Cop utilized a diverse striking attack and didn’t take too much damage from the heavy handed Sefo on his way to the victory. Was it the most inspiring performance ever? Not quite. Still, it’s nice to see a legend like Cro Cop go out on a victory over a legitimate opponent.

Video after the jump.

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Video Roundup: Fedor at the Waterpark, The Next Anderson Silva, and More

You read that correctly. Russia…has water parks. Not only do they get to have Sambo, awesome sweaters, and The Dude’s favorite beverage, but now they have waterparks as well. YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO BE THE LAND OF SNOW AND SORROW GOD DAMN IT.

We have no clue where this video came from, or what the true purpose of it is, but we’d be lying if we said that Piterland doesn’t look like the bees knees, and apparently former PRIDE Heavyweight champion Fedor Emelianenko and his daughter Masha agree. We are still waiting to hear who “The Last Emperor’s” next opponent will be, but rumors have ranged everywhere from Bobby Lashley in a MMA match to Brock Lesnar in a pro wrestling bout, so who the hell knows? What we do know is that the next man to fight Fedor might want to reconsider if he values his health whatsoever. Poor Ishii.

What’s that you say? You want to see a MMA fighter humiliate and dance around his opponent ala Silva/Leites/Maia/anyone before brutally kicking them in the face? Well we’ve got just the video awaiting your viewership after the jump.

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Kickboxing Legend Peter Aerts to Retire After June 30th Fight With Tyrone Spong


(Stay classy.) 

Today, CagePotato is brought to you by the letter R. Specifically, R for retirement.

If the name Peter Aerts doesn’t immediately bring to mind a cavalcade of classic kickboxing matches against a list of opponents that reads like a who’s who of the sport, then might we recommend you do a little research on one of the greatest combatants to ever don the heavy gloves. After collecting over 100 victories in a career that spanned nearly 25 years, kickboxing legend Peter Aerts has announced that his June 30th match against #7 ranked heavyweight kickboxer Tyrone Sprong will be his last.

In a true testament of his character, Aerts will be going out in the same fashion in which he came, by taking on the best; his first professional fight saw him square off against fellow legend Ernesto Hoost, and now he will be going out, win or lose, against a top prospect in Sprong. Known for his trademark head kick finishes that earned him the nickname, “The Dutch Lumberjack,” Aerts built his reputation through vintage battles with the likes of Hoost (five times), Jerome Le Banner (four times), Semmy Schilt (five times), and Ray Sefo (three times). Having competed in every K1 tournament except for 2009, Aerts also earned the moniker “Mr. K1,” taking home tournament gold in 1994, 1995, and 1998, and placing second in 2001, 2006, 2007, and 2010.

Aerts’ crowning achievement by far was his devastating run through the 1998 K1 World Grand Prix, in which he dispatched all three of his opponents in 6 minutes and 43 seconds, a record that held until 2009, when it was broken by Semmy Schilt. As a HUGE fan and close follower of his career, I would personally like to wish Mr. Aerts all the best in his future endeavors on behalf of everyone here at CagePotato, and have compiled a brief look back at some of his greatest hits below, starting with his first rematch against Hoost that took place at the 1993 K1 Quarterfinals.

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After 5 Hours at the Dentist, Randy Couture is A-OK Following Career-Ending KO

(YouTube/MMA30tv)

Any time you watch a 47-year-old man get kicked in the face by a levitating karate master – man, if we only had a nickel for every time that happens, right? – you have to wonder how the elder statesman is going to bounce back from it. In the case of Randy Couture, he appears to be recovering nicely. Aside from a small bruise under his eye, the newly retired “Natural” seems in great spirits when he meets up with MMA30’s Dave Fara at a gala event for the Xtreme Couture GI Foundation, which seeks to raise money for wounded vets. Couture also looks fully in control of his faculties, as evidenced when he correctly uses the word “assimilate” in casual conversation.

The teeth however, were more of a problem. In the above vid, listen to Couture discuss the five-plus hours he spent at the dentist getting his pearly-white Hollywood-level choppers realigned. All that, and he even has to go back for more. Nonetheless, The Old Man is taking it in stride, relating to Fara that Lyoto Machida put in a personal phone call to him a couple of days after the fight to make sure he was OK. Couture laughs off the Steven Seagal angle, keeps right on using the word “cat” as much as possible (which is only slightly less annoying than when guys in MMA insist on calling everyone “kid”) and even comments on rumors he personally took out Osama bin Laden. “It was a long plane ride,” says Couture. So you know, (if you’ll excuse the phrase) business as usual. Now if we could just do something about the epaulets on his dress blazer …

The rest of Couture’s quotes are after the jump, followed by a bevy of other Las Vegas-based fighters making appearances to pay homage to the 14-year vet. And damn, check out the jacket on Ray Sefo at 4:15. Looking good.

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